Munich Olympics Massacre Memorial Plans Are Unveiled

11 Israeli Athletes Murdered by Terrorists in 1972

We Are All Munich: The world was united in mourning the victims of the 1972 Olympic massacre.
getty images
We Are All Munich: The world was united in mourning the victims of the 1972 Olympic massacre.

By JTA

Published September 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Plans for a memorial in Munich to 11 Israelis and a German police officer murdered at the 1972 Summer Olympics there were unveiled.

Wednesday’s news conference at the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs announcing plans for the memorial took place a day before a ceremony in Israel marking the 41st anniversary of the attack by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The planned hall of remembrance is slated to be built near the site that housed the games and will cost 1.7 million euros (approximately $2.25 million). It will allow visitors to learn about the events and the victims — 11 Israeli athletes and coaches along with the police officer — as well as to view the site of the the failed rescue attempt at the Furstenfeldbruck airfield. Ultimately the airport’s tower will be included in the memorial. The memorial is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

“We must not forget the victims,“ Bavarian Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Ludwig Spaenle said at the news conference.

The memorial was designed by a team under the auspices of the ministry in consultation with relatives of the victims, the consul general of Israel, experts from the concentration camp memorial at Flossenburg, the Jewish Museum in Munich and the Bavarian State Ministry for Political Education.

Spaenle said it also will attempt to address questions about the impact of the attack and the importance of remembrance.

According to a statement from Spaenle’s office, Israeli Foreign Ministry department manager for Western Europe Ilan Ben Dov called the 1972 attack “a trauma for my entire generation.”

“Every Israeli group that comes to Germany as part of a youth exchange and educational cooperation should visit this site,” Ben Dov said in the statement.

As the ceremony in Israel coincides with the Jewish New Year, representatives of Germany’s Jewish community will not be able to attend. But Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Bavarian Jewish community and of its Munich branch, issued a statement on Wednesday praising the memorial effort and the importance of remembering an “attack on all proponents of open, liberal and democratic society.”

Naming all the victims, Knobloch also thanked the state of Bavaria and Germany as a whole for “their recent efforts to ensure a transparent explanation of the events of 1972 and to answer the last remaining questions from family members and Israeli authorities, in cooperation with them.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.